Kevin Hart's 'homophobic' jokes resurface as he's announced as 2019 Oscars host

Kevin Hart being confirmed as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony this week has been met with a backlash online.

The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star has a history of making jokes that are widely seen as homophobic, which some people say should rule him out of hosting the Oscars.

Many of Hart's tweets that use the slur 'f****t', or variations of it, are resurfacing on social media, along with a segment from his 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny.

"One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That's a fear. Keep in mind, I'm not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people," said Hart.

"But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will. Now with that being said, I don't know if I handled my son's first gay moment correctly.

"Every kid has a gay moment but when it happens, you've got to nip it in the bud!"

The message of this particular joke was reinforced in a tweet of Hart's that says he'd physically abuse his son for acting in a way he perceived as gay.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Benjamin Lee recounts some of Hart's use of homophobic language and provides links to real-world examples of children who have been killed by their parents over their perceived or confirmed homosexuality.

"Hart has a rather vile history of documented homophobia, ranging from offensive stand-up clangers to dumb interview statements to puerile tweets to a whole embarrassing film filled with it," writes Lee.

"If the Academy wants to progress and remain relevant, handpicking a man with a history of homophobia is a flashing red siren of an issue, a middle finger up to the LGBT community and a sign that Oscars might no longer be quite as white but they remain aggressively straight."

Hart told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he wouldn't tell the joke about his son's "gay moment" again because "when I said it, the times weren't as sensitive as they are now".

On social media, Hart's alleged domestic violence and infidelity have also been raised following his Oscars news, along with fans leaping to his defence.

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, February 25 (NZ time).